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Man in a wig throws cake at the ‘Mona Lisa’

Visitors around Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa'
Visitors pose in front of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre in Paris in May 2021.
(Thibault Camus / Associated Press)

A man seemingly disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a piece of cake at the “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre in Paris and shouted at people to think of planet Earth.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Monday that the man, 36, was detained following Sunday’s incident and sent to a police psychiatric unit, and that it had opened an investigation into the damage of cultural artifacts.

Videos posted on social media showed a young man in a wig and lipstick who had arrived in a wheelchair. The man, whose full identity or affiliations are unknown, was also seen throwing roses in the museum gallery to slack-jawed guests.

The cake attack left a conspicuous white creamy smear on the glass protecting the world’s most famous painting, but the work itself, by Leonardo da Vinci, wasn’t damaged.

Security guards were filmed escorting the wig-wearing man away as he called out to the surprised visitors in the gallery: “Think of the Earth. There are people who are destroying the Earth. Think about it. Artists tell you, ‘Think of the Earth.’ That’s why I did this.”

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Guards were then filmed cleaning the cake from the glass. A Louvre statement confirmed the attack on the artwork involving a “patisserie.”

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The 16th century Renaissance masterpiece has seen a lot in its more than 500 years of existence.

The painting was stolen in 1911 by a museum employee, an event that increased the painting’s international fame.

It was also damaged in an acid attack by a vandal in the 1950s, and has since been kept behind glass.

In 2009, a Russian woman who was angry at not being able to get French citizenship threw a ceramic cup at it, smashing the cup but not harming the glass or the painting.


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